The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


It’s A Match!

Image courtesy of Alexandria City Public Schools

Senior is awarded prestigious Questbridge scholarship

Jacqueline Lutz


Abdelrahman Abdelsadig from the Class of 2022 has been awarded a Questbridge National Match Scholarship. He will be attending Colby College with a full-ride scholarship worth over $300,000. 

Colby College is a small, private liberal arts college located in Waterville, Maine. It has an acceptance rate of 10 percent and an undergraduate enrollment of around 2,000. 

The Questbridge National Match Scholarship is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on connecting low-income and first-generation students with the colleges and universities that it partners with. Other than Colby College, partner schools include the University of Virginia, Princeton University, Boston University, Duke University, and Tufts University. 

“I am extremely proud of Abdel! He is very deserving of this life-changing scholarship and I cannot wait to hear about all of the great things in his future,” said principal Mr. Peter Balas. 

For Abdelsadig, the application process started towards the end of last school year; right after the school year concluded he received an email from Mrs. Marianne Hawn, school counselor, about scholarship opportunities, one of them being Questbridge.

He first learned about the scholarship, and to look for Mrs. Hawn’s email, because of a job at Duck Donuts. 

“I got my first job at the end of the school year last year and was working at Duck Donuts over in Bradlee [Shopping Center]… Maria Stakem [coworker and now AC alum] was the one that actually told me about the Posse scholarship, and to keep my eyes open for emails about Posse,” Abdelsadig said. 

Stakem had been a recipient of the Posse scholarship, an organization similar to Questbridge which awards full-ride scholarships to individuals with leadership potential, and is now attending the University of Wisconsin. Because of her advice to Abdelsadig, “I was just waiting for the email about Posse to come in, and then I saw the Questbridge email as well, so I said, ‘Why not? I’ll just apply for both of them,’” he said, “So if I didn’t get my job [at Duck Donuts] I never would have even heard about or applied for [the scholarship.]”

In October of 2021, Abdelsadig was notified that he was a Questbridge finalist. There are 6,000 finalists total, but only 1,000 get matched with a school. After Abdelsadig found out about being a finalist, he had to apply to schools by November. 

Through the Questbridge application, one can apply to a variety of schools, twelve total, picking from a pool of around sixty schools. After ordering the twelve from the greatest to least in desire to attend, each of those schools sees the application in order, so if one school doesn’t accept the applicant, the next school sees it. 

With the help of Ms. Stacey Morris, counselor for the College and Career Center, Abdelsadig was able to pick the schools he was applying to, order them, and fill out the applications. 

“There was a night where [Ms. Morris and] I stayed up until ten o’clock just looking for one of the [application] portals, which was actually [the one] for Colby,” said Abdelsadig. 

Abdelsadig decided to apply to Colby because of its small student body. 

“If I went to a college with a lot of people, and somewhere where the teacher couldn’t focus on me as an actual person, I wouldn’t do well at all,” he said, “That’s how I learn the best: I make connections with my teachers and [when] we can have actual conversations.”

The results regarding whether or not applicants had been “matched” to a school were released on December 1, 2021. 

“I was sitting in Ms. Morris’ office when I got the email that the [application] portal had been updated, went into the portal, and it said, ‘You’ve been matched,’” said Abdelsadig, “That was life-changing. It was awesome. When I opened the decision, I felt done; I thought, ‘Finally.’” 

Abdelsadig credits his opportunities and success with receiving the Questbridge scholarship to his time in the College and Career Center. 

“I have been there [the College and Career Center] every day… just to talk with Ms. Morris or figure out what I need to do,” he said, “Everyone should go to the College and Career Center at least once because everyone can stand to benefit from a counselor like Ms. Morris… she knows what she’s talking about and she can give you options that you never knew you had.”

When asked what he would say to those looking for and granted opportunities from the College and Career Center, and in general, he says, “Take the leap.”

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